Mecanoo - Glass Villa on the lake
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Glass Villa on the lake


Villa / Completed

The Glass Villa in the lake is a unique home with a 100 % glass façade. The house is sitting in the lake distinguishing it from any other house on the estate, and most likely also from any other house in the UK. An amazing example of luxurious "outside in living", the architecture is geared to evoke the feeling of living outdoors in almost every corner of the property.

The contemporary home immerses the outside views and nature surrounding the property into the inside, creating a strong and seamless relationship between the house and the landscape. Open-plan living offers views of the lake, trees, sky, and nature from every corner of the house, giving guests a very real sense of living outside on the lake yet sheltered in the comfort of their home. Every room boosts two glass walls, allowing the light to flow freely throughout the property. The rooms feature high ceilings (each a minimum of 6 meters across and 2.8 TO 3.5 meters high) maximising the views, light and sun as well as giving scale and volume to the interior. Nonetheless, the house retains privacy being surrounded by a thick tree line and the lake on the other side.

The architecture of the house has managed to perfectly harmonize landscape and interior, architecture and nature particularly in terms of views, colours and lighting. The interior combination of materials is earthy and transparent with glass, dark wood, dark metal, and bright white walls, ceilings, and doors ensuring that the only really important canvas is Mother Nature. The exterior of the house is designed to disappear/minimally interfere into/with the landscape with the trees, lake, and sky reflecting on the glass facades. The interior walls and ceilings are a stark white and unassuming to focus gaze and attention on the outside and the natural panorama the area provides.

The ECO credentials of the house are extensive. As an example, the exterior wood was treated with the ancient Japanese art of burning timber (Sugi Ban) to provide a beautiful long-lasting finish, effective fire resistance as well as a technique that is natural and free from chemical preservatives, paints, and retardants. In addition, the energy consumption of the house is very low, using a variety of green technologies including air thermal heat pump, solar panels, heat recovery systems, and triple glazed glass.

The house has circa 6,000 square feet of interior space across 3 levels, providing different private spaces linked by a central staircase, which connects each of the levels all the way to the roof terrace. The basement incorporates a relaxation/leisure zone (private cinema, games/bar area, wellness / spa area) and sits in the lake. Despite being underground the basement is has a bright and spacious feel due to a number of windows at a height of 3 meters, allowing light to flood into the wellness and games rooms. The bright central stairwell provides further natural light all the way from the glass roof section.

The ground floor lower split level predominantly houses the living space with a huge kitchen / dining area / living room spread across the entire width of the house, offering almost 16 meter wide by 3.5 meter high lake front views, where 3 huge glass doors can fully open up to the wrap around terrace space. There is a contemporary wood fired fireplace separating the lounge from the dining/kitchen area. The kitchen has state of the art appliances including four Gaggenau / Smeg ovens, a inbuilt island professional tandoori oven, full size wine fridge and a 3.5 meter high Varenna (Poliform) kitchen with a 3.5 meter long island. There is a tv room and an ensuite large double bedroom on the higher split level of the ground floor, both having 2 sided transparent glass walls to the outside space.

The 1st floor is the sleeping /working zone with 3 more bedrooms including the master bedroom, all ensuite and all providing 2 sided transparent glass walls flooding the rooms with light and offering spectacular lake views. The master bedroom has a large jacuzzi bath looking directly onto the lake as well as a huge rain shower / steam room with a double sink. On the same floor there is also a study/library looking onto the full panorama of the lake with its own open contemporary wood fired fire place. The 1st floor hall provides a 6 meter window with views of the trees and to the roof skylight window stretching across the width of the house.

Finally, the top floor boasts the large roof terrace (circa 2000 square feet), entered via an electric skylight door at the top of the staircase. The roof terrace has a 360 degree panoramic view, capturing views of 3 different lakes and the surrounding nature. The roof terrace also features a garden and has an inbuilt wood pizza oven, BBQ and dining bench. The roof terrace attracts sun throughout the day and has sweeping views of the lakes and the surrounding estate.

* 6000 sq ft of internal space and 4,000 sq ft of terraces sitting on a 24,000 sq ft plot of flora and fauna
* Plot is very private with trees and foliage, including a fully planted promontory/finger to shield the property from the nearest neighbouring plot
* State of the art high end Varenna kitchen (with 3.5m tall units) offering a plethora of cooking options (gas oven, electric ovens, steam oven, tandoori oven, pizza oven) plus wine fridge
* Professional state of the art 400 sq ft 9 seat private cinema with fully reclining electric seats, high end projector and sound system and vibration based "butt kicker" to add realism to big productions movies
* Large 400 sq ft games room with full size snooker table and bar
* State of the art home automation system allowing the control of blinds, heating/cooling, lighting, jacuzzi and sauna remotely
* High end fixtures & furnishings with dark oak flooring throughout, marble bathrooms, Poliform sofa, cassina dining chairs, lighting by Bocci, Tom Dixon, Davide Groppi and Phillipe Starck


 Mecanoo and Arquitectura y Ordenación Urbana S.L. AOU SL
 Boheme Development S.L.
 Structural engineer: Fernando Sarria; Engineering: INARQ S.L.
 mariashot and Blue Sky Images


Mecanoo officially founded in Delft in 1984, is made up of a highly multidisciplinary staff of creative professionals. The team includes architects, engineers, interior designers, urban planners, landscape architects, and architectural technicians.

Discovering unexpected solutions for the specifics of programme and context is the foremost challenge in all of our assignments. Each design is considered in terms of its cultural setting, place and time.

Within the practice are knowledge centres which enable us to stay current on technological and design innovations in sustainability, eco-engineering, technology, education and learning, high-rise and mobility. Preoccupied not by a focus on form, but on process, context, urban scale, and integrated sustainable design, the practice creates culturally significant buildings with a human touch.

#Winner #Mecanoo  #Lechlade  #Residence  #Wood and glass  #Wood Envelope  #Wood Structure  #United Kingdom  #Europe 

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